Do you remember Reading Rainbow? I loved that show. LeVar Burton, the host, would close every episode with some recommended reading, submitted by viewers. He would always say ‘but you don’t have to take my word for it’ before they would cut to the reviewers.

It’s in that spirit that I offer up some thoughts on 2018. What are some emerging trends and issues that you need to keep an eye on as you prepare to hit the ground running? I have tapped into the incredible talent here at AKHIA to find out–what are they seeing, every day, that they want to share with you? What are some issues they feel you absolutely have to be paying attention to?

Every day this week I’ll share a take. These are all very relevant and definitely deserve to be on your radar. But remember…you don’t have to take my word for it.

“Did we just become best friends?”

Olivia Tormento, Account Manager

The “one big thing” I think we’ll see much more of in 2018 is even tighter alignment between sales and marketing.

Now more than ever, marketing and PR budgets are being scrutinized and challenged to directly tie back to ROI and the overall business goals. Because of this, marketing teams are realizing the importance of getting sales teams involved in the entire creation process early and often.

Marketing collateral and sales tools must ultimately be useful resources to those who are using them (sales) with customer and prospects. We as marketers are digging deeper to create materials that communicate the crux of customer pain points and provide information that helps solve their problems. And then, we’re measuring their effectiveness with hard numbers that directly affect the bottom line.